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                                                                        Schuman Project

David Heilbron Price



Personal to

Mr. Hans-Gert Pöttering

President, European Parliament

                                                                                        5 March 2008 

          Corruption/cartel problem in Lisbon Treaty draft


Dear President Pöttering,

Since the first session of the Assembly under the presidency of Paul-Henri Spaak in September 1952, Parliament has grown in stature. The growth of democratic power is mainly based to the Article 24 of the Treaty of Paris and the equivalent in following Rome treaties. This gave the Assembly/Parliament the means to dismiss the European Commission for grave misdeeds or corruption.

Following our discussion today, I would like to ask you to encourage an in-depth analysis by the Parliamentary Committees of the surprising, even shocking, implications of the Lisbon Treaty. This will render the parliamentary power of dismissal practically impossible in the future. Democracy itself is under threat.

In reply to my question yesterday, the Rapporteur of the draft Lisbon Treaty resolution, Mr. Corbett, confirmed that the politicization of the Commission by vote of the Parliament will render it impossible in practice for any future Parliament to dismiss the Commission. The Commission President will reflect partisan political elections. He will inevitably be a party member. If a case of party political corruption occurred in both Commission and major party machines, those who voted to install the Commission are highly unlikely to vote to dismiss the person they so highly eulogized earlier. It requires a 2/3 majority with an open vote. Thus the Commission will become ‘unsackable’. This system also disenfranchises 98% of the population who are not party members from being Commission President.

As Europe’s founding father Robert Schuman conceived it, the Commission should be an impartial, independent guardian of the treaties and all European interests. It is also the anti-cartel watchdog. The unwise draft changes offer an open invitation to corruption by cartels, including powerful multinationals, to subvert ALL major European party political systems or suborn party political secretariats to ‘go easy’ on cartel or trust operations. All European citizens will suffer. The Commission recently fined a US multinational some 900 million euros, not for cartel illegalities but for refusing to obey a Commission anti-cartel decision and a Court judgement to stop such illegalities. A fraction of this money could subvert any political party. Further, Europe is now in a very delicate position in relation to petroleum and gas supplies. Nation States in Europe and the Middle East have massive sovereign funds that could be surreptitiously employed to foster their self-serving economic and political aims in opposition to the fair interests of our citizens.

I am asking you, Mr. President, to give urgent, public attention to this serious flaw in the Lisbon treaty so Parliament and democratic institutions can eradicate it.

Yours sincerely,

David H Price


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